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P-man

Nibbler - how good can he be?

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In the last few rounds of the 2017 season, I came to view "Bullen" as (I think I called him in one of our gameday threads) "legit one of out most important players". I think that was a reflection of our diminishing prospects as the year wound down; but at the same time I think it shows that when we get out better players back for a stretch of the year, players like ANB will be extremely handy 16th-22nd players on any given low-rating footy gameday.

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I'll long remember the goal he kicked in the third quarter at Subi when we moved the ball from deep in the back pocket via a scrambled Frost kick that became a frenetic run and handball transition ending up with Nibbler out-(gut) running his Eagles opponent to get on the end of the loose ball and slot a neat goal in front of the MFCaway supporters....bloody inspirational! 

I rate him. Will become a weapon if he can remain healthy.

Edited by leucopogon
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If memory serves me correctly....he finished 8th in the B&F on a votes per game basis (19 games). Suggests he's already up to his armpits in the best 22 of the coaches.

Has been a surprise packet, and it's great to see. On the basis of what he's already done against expectations I would be hesitant to say that he's "topped out", and I look forward to more development next season. 

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His hard work and professionalism is an example to all: hope the newbies latch on to him.

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just to re-live the draft where we got him . Pick 23 to GWS for Frost and the picks that got us Oscar and Nibbler. That has to be one of our best trades in a decade or two. 

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I’m not as enthusiastic as some.  His endeavour is very good but I have a question mark over his decision making ability and his marking skills. I think he is just inside our best 22.  But of course would love to see him him continue to develop and become a valuable player. It seems as though he can be but just needs to step it up a cog in my view.

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Closest thing we currently have to a wing. Provides a valuable link-up role when running through the middle. I'm super-fond of the kid but he will need to establish himself across the middle or will get usurped by our surplus of developing small-medium forwards as to the HHF role. I have confidence however that he will find his place.

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9 hours ago, Wells 11 said:

just to re-live the draft where we got him . Pick 23 to GWS for Frost and the picks that got us Oscar and Nibbler. That has to be one of our best trades in a decade or two. 

And we got the player they used pick 23 on (McKenna).

Although, most of us are presently none the wiser about him due to his hamstring issues.

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12 minutes ago, ProDee said:

And we got the player they used pick 23 on (McKenna).

Although, most of us are presently none the wiser about him due to his hamstring issues.

So in hindsight, we received Frost, ANB and OMc, for 2016 pick 57 and 59, and also got to keep our 2012 pick 23.

No doubt Mahoney, Viney and co were criticised for being poor negotiators or being bent over by GWS in the original Frost trade.

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11 hours ago, Wells 11 said:

just to re-live the draft where we got him . Pick 23 to GWS for Frost and the picks that got us Oscar and Nibbler. That has to be one of our best trades in a decade or two. 

I wouldn't be using the name Oscar alongside Trade wins. He has A LOT to work on.

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2 minutes ago, Dr.D said:

I wouldn't be using the name Oscar alongside Trade wins. He has A LOT to work on.

Hate to harp on Oscar but there is a young footballer who must lift a considerable amount - just not competitive either in skills and/or in what appears to be his on-field attitude and endeavour,

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14 hours ago, leucopogon said:

I'll long remember the goal he kicked in the third quarter at Subi when we moved the ball from deep in the back pocket via a scrambled Frost kick that became a frenetic run and handball transition ending up with Nibbler out-(gut) running his Eagles opponent to get on the end of the loose ball and slot a neat goal in front of the MFCaway supporters....bloody inspirational! 

I rate him. Will become a weapon if he can remain healthy.

Great effort and execution - his capabilities are often amazing.

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The numbers show how good he is already

 

19 disposals per game,   15 goals in 19 games

1st in Goal Assists per game

4th in inside 50's per game

4th in tackles per game

8th in clearances per game

7th in score involvements per game

 

 

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On 04/12/2017 at 10:37 AM, DeeSpencer said:

Great runner and uses it in games to rack up the ball by getting to the right spots and does his bit defensively.

Not super quick to really break lines on the outside and not a powerful dynamic inside player so I think the half forward role is the right one for him, although more rotation minutes is a good idea.

I'm not sure what others are seeing in terms of his decision making and skills. Most of the time when he gets the ball I close my eyes because I don't see a lot of confidence in his decision making. He certainly improved last year but still there were lots of games where I regretted that he was getting it 20 times. There was a strong correlation between when he was using it well and how the team was playing.

Consistent good decisions and nailing his kicks will determine if he's better than a role player.

Agreed. I will admit I was wrong about him being able to nail down a spot in the 22, but long term he'll be cusp 22. I don't believe his decision making is strong enough to be a consistent best 22, even as a role player.

2018 is a big season for ANB. He made some good strides in 2017, but was nowhere in 2016, so if he plateaus now he won't be good enough long term. He had a lot of ground to make up in 2017.

Edited by A F

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10 minutes ago, A F said:

Agreed. I will admit I was wrong about him being able to nail down a spot in the 22, but long term he'll be cusp 22. I don't believe his decision making is strong enough to be a consistent best 22, even as a role player.

2018 is a big season for ANB. He made some good strides in 2017, but was nowhere in 2016, so if he plateaus now he won't be good enough long term. He had a lot of ground to make up in 2017.

To be fair, ANB is 12 months behind Jayden Hunt in terms of being on the list, and in general development.  The improvement Hunt showed in 2016 was on the back of a season where he showed nothing.  While he cemented himself in the best 22 during 2016, he rubber-stamped it in 2017.

Using that comparison, ANB cemented himself in 2017, so I'm hopeful that 2018 will be a consolidation year.  Just what level he will get to beyond that, obviously remains to be seen.  One thing about ANB though, I don't think it will be through a lack of trying, and at worst, the new draftees have some terrific training/attitude role models in the likes of ANB, Stretch, Viney and Oliver.

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Probably the most underrated player on the list. 

Very smart footballer

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interesting to see such differing opinions.  I can't see him being elite like others. His running and application are great but his skills are just OK.

if he keeps working hard, I see him in the 22 most of next year

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When Neal-Bullen was exposed to AFL level football prior to 2017 it was mainly through the middle and his disposal was rushed and he made poor decisions under pressure.  I didn't like what I saw. 

In 2017 he had a new and defined role that he diligently kept to and he played within his limitations.  And he often lowered his eyes and started to make really smart decisions.  The more comfortable at the level the better he got.  He competes and contests well and had a very consistent year, hence his B&F finish. 

I don't think he has the talent to be an A-grader, but he's the type that will get the best out of himself, so I wouldn't back against him. 

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6 hours ago, ProDee said:

When Neal-Bullen was exposed to AFL level football prior to 2017 it was mainly through the middle and his disposal was rushed and he made poor decisions under pressure.  I didn't like what I saw. 

In 2017 he had a new and defined role that he diligently kept to and he played within his limitations.  And he often lowered his eyes and started to make really smart decisions.  The more comfortable at the level the better he got.  He competes and contests well and had a very consistent year, hence his B&F finish. 

I don't think he has the talent to be an A-grader, but he's the type that will get the best out of himself, so I wouldn't back against him. 

I would take a hard working B over a lazy B+ or even a lazy A thanks. 

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We tend to overlook the value of the role players. If, as ProDee states, he had a new and defined role and he fulfilled the requirements of that role, then he was worthy of a top ten finish in the B&F.

Petraccattack's stats are impressive - 15 goals and first in goal assists -  suggest that he is more than a "battler" and is a real and consistent contributor to the game plan and deserving of his place.

If he plays his role and every other player play theirs, then we will be successful.

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On 04/12/2017 at 1:29 AM, P-man said:

Nibbler, ANB, or as Danny Frawley calls him, "Bullen".

At the risk of putting the mozz on him, I'm excited by this fella. All his stats are trending upwards after a signficant step forward last season. As an elite runner and steadily improving his all round game he could become a valuable long term asset in the midfield. 

Historically he has split opinion, although majority view has been "useful foot soldier". I'm interested in how posters view him on the back of quietly impressive 2017 season.

How do you see him progressing next season?

More importantly, what is his eventual ceiling? 

I was in Geelong in 2015 for his second game. Then he was used as a crumbling forward & I was impressed by the passion he played with. He isn’t scared to back himself just doesn’t execute enough. As soon as he does, he could be a very important player!

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People underestimate his strength inside forward 50. He provides a decent amount of pressure, and he has the ability to lower his eyes and hit targets very effectively.

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On 12/4/2017 at 6:31 PM, TeamPlayedFine39 said:

He seems to have the perfect attitude for modern football; both onfield as a role-player at half-forward and on the training pack where he seems determined to get the best out of himself.  He has a knack of being in the right place at the right time and he always looks for a teammate in a better and creative position.  Can the creativity and vision that he displays here translate to a midfield role..?  I'm not sure.  He strikes me as someone who can be a very good contributor to a good team, without being one to tear games apart.  There's a lot of work to go before he gets to that, but his improvement over the last two years has been very, very encouraging. 

Right from the start he showed something and this season he proved it has what it takes.

You nailed his important attributes 39. 

His determination to succeed and his "knack of being in the right place at the right time"".

He showed the latter attribute right from the start, he just started doing it more frequently last season as his confidence grew from becoming a regular selection each week and having time to develop his confidence.

He is definitely a team player. 

I like him up forward because he is an opportunist near goal and a reasonable shot on the run.  

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9 hours ago, MudDogs Gawn Win.. someday said:

I was in Geelong in 2015 for his second game. Then he was used as a crumbling forward & I was impressed by the passion he played with. He isn’t scared to back himself just doesn’t execute enough. As soon as he does, he could be a very important player!

Yes, he was good that day.  

He's definitely shown his best footy as a high pressure linking small/medium forward.

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